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Breaking News: ExxonMobil Petrochemical Plant Explosion & Fire in Baytown, Texas Injures Workers

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 12:48 pm by Williams Hart   

Williams Hart Personal Injury Accident Lawyers are ready to help file your Workplace Burn Injury Claim.

Update: 37 Workers Burned in Accident, 66 Total Medically Evaluated

 

Emergency crews are responding to a fire at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex at 3525 Decker Drive. Currently, a shelter-in-place has been issued for areas in Baytown west of the petrochemical and refinery complex and south of Spur 330. This facility lies on the east side of Houston in the heart of the Texas chemical industry.

“ExxonMobil reported that 66 employees/contractors have gone to the Houston Area Safety Council, for medical evaluation.”  

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil stated that “37 people sustained non-life threatening injuries”. 

Local news is reporting that workers employed on site did sustain burn injuries from the fire.

Live, local video images from television stations show flames shooting several stories into the sky from pipes inside the plant, and many residents reported that their house and windows shook from the initial explosion.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is en route to the scene.

Harris County has begun monitoring Environmental Air Quality and you can see their interactive map here.

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed. Initial reports indicate that the Chemical Plant processed polypropylene, a thermoplastic which are highly flammable and pose a serious risk to the health and safety of employees at the facility in the event of ignition. 

The shelter-in-place has impacted several schools in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, according to the Houston Chronicle. Those schools include:

  • San Jacinto Elementary
  • Travis Elementary
  • Baytown Junior High
  • Robert E. Lee High School
  • Goose Creek Service Center,
  • Peter E. Hyland
  • IMPACT ECHS

 Families have been advised not to try to pick up their students.

 

 

The City of Baytown has stated that the fire is in a unit that contains propylene, which is an extremely flammable gas. This material is easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames and can quickly lead to an explosion.

When it comes to hazardous chemical exposure, propylene vapors can cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning. Such contact with this form of gas can also lead to burns and other severe injuries.

Exxon Mobil crews are battling the fire, according to the most recent reports, but the city’s fire department is on standby to assist, according to Natalie Barrett, the spokesperson for the city of Baytown.

ExxonMobil released the following statement about the fire: 

A fire has occurred at the Baytown Olefins Plant. Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.

According to the Houston Business Journal Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. is the “Third Largest Houston-area Petrochemical & Chemical Company” with net sales of $28.69 Billion USD.

Founded 100 years ago in 1919, the Baytown complex is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world, boasting nearly 584,000 barrels of crude oil produced a day. It is also the second ExxonMobil location at which an explosion has occurred in the Houston area within the last few months.

The energy production workforce is no stranger to deadly explosions, with more than two dozen oil refinery disasters occurring in the last 50 years. For more info about Refinery Plant Safety you can get more info from Energy API here , and OSHA.gov here .

Occupational injuries and fatalities in the Chemical and  oil & gas production industry are typically caused by the following: 

  • Human error and or poorly trained staff
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Improperly stored end-products
  • Improperly maintained complex facilities

We are carefully following this story along with everyone in the community, and we will continue providing updates as they become available. You can also follow this developing story online at the Houston Chronicle’s website, KHOU online, and others.

Williams Hart has a long history of representing individuals injured in plant explosions such as the ones in Geismar, LA and Texas City. In situations like these, it is best to turn to an experienced firm to help you understand all of your options. If you have been seriously burned or injured, our Chemical Plant Fire Attorneys are ready to help you in the aftermath of this Baytown ExxonMobil Chemical Fire and Explosion.

For additional information about about your legal representation options after a disaster like this please visit:


If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Williams Hart Lawyers would like to fight for you to get the Maximum Compensation that you deserve after suffering your burn injury.


Crosby – Explosion and Fire at Chemical Plant Kills One, Injures Two

Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at 2:46 pm by Williams Hart   

There was an explosion at a chemical plant in Crosby, TX this morning. One person has been reported dead and another two are injured.

The fire started when a transfer line ignited near a tank of Isobutylene, causing the explosion. The tank continues to burn while firefighters have been called to the scene. An adjacent building is also on fire.

A “shelter in place” warning has been issued to all residents within a one-mile area of the fire, which broke out at the KMCO plant at 16500 Ramsey Road. This means that students at Crosby ISD schools will not be allowed to leave their campuses until the warning is lifted. Other school districts are handling the warning based in their proximity to the fire. To maintain safety, other districts have cancelled outdoor activities and turned off their air conditioning systems in response to the airborne chemical leak.

We will closely monitor this chemical leak and provide more information as it becomes available.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Houston — Damaged Storage Facility Contaminates Houston Channel, Creates Cloud of Cancer-Causing Chemical

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019 at 1:35 am by Williams Hart   

A fire that broke out at the Intercontinental Terminal Co. (ITC) facility in Deer Park, Texas about a week ago has proven to be potentially more dangerous than initially thought. This is because on the one hand, it has created a large plume of black smoke that contains the cancer-causing chemical benzene and this smoke not only hangs over the city but it has also started to drift off over the eastern parts of Harris County, even reaching out as far as Austin and San Antonio. And for another, it has also caused oil byproducts to leak into the Houston Ship Channel after a dike wall collapsed because of a new fire that reignited in the facility last Friday, March 22, 2019.

As a result to these recent developments, the ship channel is closed for the meantime. Captain Kevin Oditt with the U.S. Coast Guard said that they deployed a total of 8,500 feet of boom, hoping to trap as much of the chemical waste that entered the water as possible. Unfortunately, even with these efforts, some of the waste still did make it to the ship channel’s waters, and so far, nine toxins were detected, most particularly benzene — a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor that is also a known carcinogen. Other chemicals detected were total xylenes, pyrene, anthracene, ethylbenzene, toluene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and 2-methylnaphthalene.

On Friday, ITC reported that there were still about 60,000 barrels (2.52 million gallons) of hazardous chemicals in the damaged section of the complex, and by Saturday morning, they no longer knew how much remained.

Ever since the fire broke out and the air has been contaminated with several chemicals, about 1,000 people have sought treatment at a pop-up clinic because of nausea, headaches, and other symptoms, with 15 of the most severe cases brought to hospital emergency rooms. With this, the Texas National Guard has dispatched troops to assist local authorities with air monitoring, thus prompting take-shelter alerts and road closures.

This chemical plant fire is now being considered as the worst industrial disaster since the March 2005 explosion at BP Plc’s Texas City refinery that killed 15 people.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will be investigating the blaze. Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is planning to file a lawsuit against ITC, accusing the latter of violating clean-air laws.

It is unfortunate to hear of this chemical plant fire and the consequences that residents are experiencing because of this. Alas, fires in industrial or manufacturing properties are common occurrences in the United States. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, municipal fire departments in the U.S. reported that an estimated average of 37,910 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties happen each year, with annual losses from these fires estimated at 16 civilian deaths, 273 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Furthermore, structure fires accounted for 20% of the fires, 49% of civilian deaths, 80% of civilian injuries, and 67% of direct property damage.

Additionally, oil spills are incredibly dangerous as well. Oil spills caused by damaged tankers, pipelines, or offshore oil rigs almost always result in immediate and long-term environmental damage that can last for decades. This is because they coat everything they touch and become long-term but unwelcome parts of every ecosystem they enter. As a result, they can have damaging consequences to the marine life in particular, killing or contaminating fish and smaller organisms. Oil spills can indirectly affect humans too, especially if they consume contaminated organisms or have some contact with contaminated water or sand (in the case of beaches).

Industrial fires and oil spills can be as complicated as they are damaging to the victims. Thankfully, there are lawyers who are experts in cases like this. That is why, if you think you are a victim of an effect of an oil spill/chemical plant fire, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate in asking help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Further investigation into La Porte DuPont plant reveals multiple violations

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Williams Hart   

Over the weekend, a chemical leak at a DuPont plant killed four workers. While the plant had been cited previously for safety violations, federal inspectors hadn’t inspected the facility since 2007. The 2007 inspection, performed by inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), cited four serious safety violations, including violations of safe management for hazardous chemicals.

In the chemical leak this past weekend, an estimated 100 pounds of methyl mercaptan leaked throughout the plant. Unfortunately, even the smallest amount of exposure can be fatal. It has since been discovered that this toxic chemical leak was caused by a faulty valve.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also brought formal enforcement actions against the DuPont plant for 2012 and 2014 violations that cost the plant $117,375 in penalties.

DuPont stated that they are taking steps to make sure the area is safe to access. With regards to the multiple safety violations, DuPont states they “are committed to meeting or exceeding all applicable state and federal regulatory requirements.”


4 killed in chemical leak at DuPont plant in La Porte

Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Williams Hart   

Four workers were killed at a DuPont chemical plant in La Porte, Texas, on Saturday, November 15, after an early morning chemical leak. According to reports, a leak of methyl mercaptan was reported at around 4:00 am CST at the plant, located less than 30 miles outside of Houston. In addition to the four reported fatalities, another worker was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover from complications related to exposure to the chemical. Authorities say that the leak poses no danger to those living near the plant.

The gas leak was stopped at around 6:00 am, but the initial cause of the leak is still unknown at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

 

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